Why Warming up Before Yoga is Important
If you have practiced Yoga or joined any exercise class, you will notice that it is recommended that you begin warming up before yoga. Do some light exercises for the first few minutes. Generally, people do not take these first few minutes of light exercises seriously, which is the wrong approach. It is through these warm-up exercises that your body prepares itself for heavy and advanced exercises later on.
Anybody who works out should understand the importance of warm-up exercises. Although warm-ups will not really help much to burn calories or build muscles, they are vital to the success of a workout. If you are not doing warm-ups before your workout, then you are missing a very important part of your overall workout session.
Warming up before Yoga restores elasticity and mobility in your muscles and gets the blood flowing and loosens up the joints. While preparing your physical body, you will get into the mindset of Yoga, which will provide an important separation from the rest of your day. The Two hundred hours of yoga teacher training in India teaches you the importance of warm-up before a yoga session as a crucial topic, amongst other concepts.
Here are detailed reasons as to why Warming up Before Yoga is important:
Reduces the risk of injury
Increases body temperature
- A warm-up will increase your body temperature, which is important for body tissue. The heat produced in the body after a warm-up will allow your muscles and tendons to be more extensible and decrease the chances of getting muscle strains.
- As the temperature in your muscles increases, more oxygen is available to your muscles, which allows them to contract and relax more easily, which helps you to perform more difficult asanas.
Mentally prepares your body
- Diving straight into a workout without being properly prepared can throw off your body physically and mentally, especially when the preparation is mental rather than physical. It is easy to give up on the difficult asanas, but you will be much less likely to do so if you give yourself enough time to remember why you are working out. While warming up, use your time to think about what you are going to do, which will guarantee success for both the body and mind
Stimulates better blood flow to the muscles and cardio system
- In your body, nutrients are delivered to the muscles through blood circulation. The nutrient requirement of a body while exercising tends to be more so as to produce more energy, which is improved by stimulation of blood circulation.
- Your heart tends to work strenuously during Yoga and other exercises. A complete body warm-up before moving further to advanced asanas will reduce the chances of a cardiac issue by improving the flexibility of muscles.
- Sweating helps in reducing the heat stored in the tissues and cools down your body.
- A vigorous warm-up signals to your central nervous system that it should produce heat in your body, which means getting your cardiovascular system fired-up and working on your mobility. Your body should start to feel warm once you get moving
Increases blood circulation
- One of the many benefits of warm-ups are the increase of blood circulation, which starts with muscular contraction, rise in heart rate, therefore increasing circulation. Blood circulation helps in bringing more oxygen and other fuels to the muscle cells, which enables cells to contract.
- Warming up also helps in dilation of the blood vessels, which increases the blood flow, and makes better availability of oxygen to the muscles for rigorous asanas. When your body does not have proper oxygen supply for the physical workout, the muscles will not perform at their maximum level, which can lead to decreased muscle strength and endurance and can lead to injury and muscle soreness
Importance of pauses
- Warming up encourages your body to carry fresh oxygen supply to the muscles through the blood. More oxygen is needed when you slide slowly into asanas of advanced level, so your breath and heart rate increases naturally.
- We take a pause and rest after practicing an asana as our breath comes to a normal rate, and when we do so, oxygen can then reach the muscles and helps to increase muscle activity in the next asanas, thereby preventing muscle soreness. Utilize this time to bring the energy deeper into your spine and to experience the energy benefits of the asana. You will learn to experience the energy benefits of the asanas by regularly practicing Yoga. However, you should not take rest for too long; otherwise, the effects of a good warm-up than you did at the starting of the yoga session and the built-up concentration could be lost.
- There are many important parts to a warm-up, and breathing is one of them. Your muscles contract and release during deep breathing, stimulating circulation, which helps in the availability of fresh oxygen to all the muscles in the body.
- When you practice deep breathing, it relaxes and calms your mind and reduces muscular tension, thereby keeping stress away. By practicing deep breathing, you give a chance to your muscles to perform in a better and efficient way. Pranayama is one of the best ways to start a warm-up.
- Besides other benefits of warm-up, it also helps to improve your attention span and concentration. Utilize the time during a warm-up to focus and address your physical and/or mental tensions. Warm-ups before Yoga aims to prepare your body and mind while maintaining good coordination between them to reap the maximum benefits from yoga practice.
Increases your flexibility
- Stretching is considered something that you should practice in addition to regular warm-ups. It will help in increasing the blood flow to your muscles and allow your body to increase its flexibility in the short and long-term. You should stretch after you have completed your warm-up, as stretching without properly warming up your muscles can lead to injury.
- Every yoga trainer should spend the first few minutes to teach warm-up exercises before asana practice, which is crucial for the whole body of every student. Even if you are practicing Yoga at home, remember to start your yoga practice or any other exercise with a good warm-up.
Author Bio: Bipin Baloni is a yoga teacher from India, and his core specialization is in Hatha and Ashtanga Yoga. He organizes 200-hour yoga teacher training in Rishikesh. Bipin Baloni conducts Yoga Teacher Training in India in different cities. He loves writing and reading books related to Yoga, Meditation, Ayurveda, and Health.